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I was looking for a way to prevent reverse image searching (namely I didn't want for people who had a copy of one of my images to upload it to google and discover where it originated from). I created the following robots.txt file at put it at the root of my blogspot blog:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /hide*.jpg$
Disallow: /hide*.jpeg$
Disallow: /hide*.png$

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /hide*.jpg$
Disallow: /hide*.jpeg$
Disallow: /hide*.png$

With it, I was expecting that all jpg and png image files that start with the word hide (eg. hide1023939.jpg) would not appear in Google Images (or any other search engine). I was inspired by the official documentation here and here.

However Google Images keeps showing them, both when reverse searching as well as searching sitewise for any images. I've added many new images since I implemented the robots directives but even these new files get crawled.

As an observation the images on blogspot/blogger.com are hosted on http://1.bp.blogspot.com/....file.jpg instead of my own subdomain (http://domain.blogspot.com) and I wonder if this is the cause of the issue? Any ideas how to solve this?

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As an observation the images on blogspot/blogger.com are hosted on http://1.bp.blogspot.com/....file.jpg instead of my own subdomain (http://domain.blogspot.com) and I wonder if this is the cause of the issue?

That is indeed the cause of the issue. A robots.txt file only affects a single subdomain, so it won't affect anything on a different subdomain.

I don't see any option in Blogger to edit robots directives for the image subdomain, and if there's no option for that, then I don't believe there's any other way to keep the images from being crawled/indexed. The only solution I can see without moving off of Blogger would be to prevent crawling/indexing of the pages that contain those images (as Google only indexes images that it can find on web pages), but it sounds like you want to keep your web pages indexed, so that's probably not a good option.

But maybe there's some clever solution that I'm overlooking.

| improve this answer | |
  • thank you @Maximillian, very elucidating! As you have guessed I can't afford for the pages to be non-indexable... – FotisK May 16 at 16:16

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